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Defense Science Board Summer Study on Strategic Surprise

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Technical Report

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Defense Science Board Washington United States

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The study explored current and future operational contexts. The study defined strategic surprise as an event for which the United States is not adequately prepared and that may result in very high cost. It was assumed that such an event will inevitably occur in todays complex and rapidly changing world. In accordance with its charter, the study reviewed how information about a potentialadversary may lead to changing current Department priorities and what the possible actions andhedges against those changing priorities may be. The study considered what actions, if nottaken by the Department, might lead to potential regrets in 2024. They study also reviewedpossible actions and hedges against changing priorities.The study focused on potential regrets in eight areas and provides recommendations to avoidstrategic surprise in those eight domains. The domains include Countering Nuclear Proliferation Ballistic and Cruise Missile Defense Space Security Undersea Warfare Cyber Communications and Positioning, Navigation, and Timing PNT Counterintelligence Logistics Resilience.

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